April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

April 2011 Monthly Message

- He Did It His Way: PAN’s Chairman of the Board on Business, Philanthropy, and Opportunity
- Turning a Difficult Meeting into a Successful Advocacy Experience
- Medtronic and Eli Lilly Announce Drug-Device Collaboration for Parkinson’s Disease
- April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month
- PAN Advocate Jean Burns Given Bonander Award at Unity Walk
- PAN Director of Development / Individual Giving Featured on Comcast Newsmakers
- SAVE THE DATE – 2011 Morris K. Udall Awards Dinner
- Parkinson’s in the Media


April began with the Parkinson’s community coming together to honor and commemorate the month as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  The community has, for years, honored April with events to increase awareness and research efforts for the disease.  Indeed, the annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk takes place every April in New York City’s Central Park.  The Parkinson’s Action Network was on hand again this year, signing up new advocates and reconnecting with old friends.

Advocates across the country have been writing letters to the editor of their local newspapers in huge numbers, reaching out to their communities in new ways to educate about Parkinson’s.  These letters do an excellent job of putting a personal face to Parkinson’s disease and raising awareness for our community.

Many advocates have also been securing proclamations from state and local governments declaring April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  These proclamations honor the work of local advocates, raise our issues with government leaders, and call attention to the need for increased research and education.  Securing government proclamations is an excellent way to increase the reach of advocacy efforts, and for the second year in a row, PAN advocates have excelled at this.

In honor of this special month, PAN is also presents our annual online Tulip Tribute Garden, where anyone can celebrate, honor, and remember a family member or loved one who has been touched by Parkinson's disease.  Plant a virtual tulip on PAN’s website for Parkinson's Awareness Month, for a birthday, anniversary, Mother's Day, or Father's Day, or just to let your loved one know how much you care!  For supporters who give a gift of $25 or more, PAN will post the name of someone you would like to honor on the website, including a brief dedication or message.

This April also saw the U.S. Senate declare April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), along with Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mark Udall (D-CO), Mike Johanns (R-NE), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), sponsored Senate Resolution 134, officially recognizing April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month. PAN is grateful to Sens. Stabenow, Isakson, Udall, Johanns, and Hutchison for their strong support for our community.  With their support, and that of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson's Disease, our community will continue to raise awareness of Parkinson's disease both in April and throughout the year.

We continue to hear from advocates across the country about their outreach efforts this month.  Please keep us posted about your successes – whether you secure a proclamation, publish a letter to the editor, or speak to a support group.  We want to hear from you, and we will continue to post successes on our website as we honor April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.